Jul 24, 2022

Schmidt: Next AG may have defense to play if Value Them Both fails

Posted Jul 24, 2022 10:00 AM

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the task for his successor could be difficult if the abortion regulation amendment on the ballot August 2 does not pass.

"If think if Value Them Both were to not pass, it is likely that we will see additional legal challenges brought against existing Kansas law that governs the provision of abortion in the state," Schmidt said. "There already are at least two pending lawsuits, one challenging what is often colloquially called dismemberment abortion, a particular procedure often performed in the second trimester. There's another lawsuit pending that challenges certain health and safety standards for clinics that are currently in Kansas law. I suspect that we'll see more of those challenges in the event Value Them Both were not to pass. That's why supporters, they are able to say, I believe accurately, what is at risk here is the preservation of existing laws related to abortion."

Schmidt, of course, in his official capacity, was the attorney of record for the state of Kansas in the Hodes case whose decision currently holds regarding abortion regulation in the state.

"I think the voters of Kansas are going to show us the path forward on this subject by how they decide the Value Them Both question on August 2nd," Schmidt said. "I think, the right thing to do for anybody in a public policy role is to watch what happens with the voters and then listen very carefully to the message that they send. There are obviously people with very strongly held views on all sides of this issue. One thing that I think is certain, is that, in this post-Roe world, it's going to be necessary for people to work in good faith with each other to try to find whatever the right balance is, state by state, in terms of regulation of the abortion industry."

The squeezing out of moderate Republicans from the legislature since the beginning of Gov. Sam Brownback's tenure to now and the dominance of the Republican party overall legislatively in Kansas would seem to indicate that the good faith balance may not be easy to reach.